The number of Australians listening to online audio each week has climbed by 8% over the past year, according to the sixth annual Infinite Dial Australia study, released by Edison Research and industry body Commercial Radio Australia.
Nearly 15.6 million Australians, or 71% of the population aged 12 and older, listen to online audio weekly, up from 66% in 2021 and 46% when the study first started in 2017. Monthly listening rose to 78% from 74% a year ago. Online audio comprises AM, FM and DAB+ radio stations listened to online, podcasts and music streaming services.
The average time spent listening to online audio increased to 13 hours and 31 minutes per week, up from 12 hours and 11 minutes a year ago.
Radio in the car
Overall, radio continues to be the most popular form of audio — 80% of Australians listened to radio via AM, FM, DAB+, live streaming or catch-up podcasts over the last week, holding steady with 2021. Radio also remained the top audio source in the car, with 80% listening to the radio in the last month, and nearly one in three people said they had listened to a podcast in-car.
Australia overtook the United States as one of the most advanced podcast markets in the world, with the number of people who listened to a podcast in the last month growing to 40% from 37% a year ago (compared to 38% in the U.S.), while the number of weekly podcast listeners was steady at 26%.
Podcast listeners were also more deeply engaged, listening to an average of seven episodes in the last week. The average time spent listening to podcasts surged to seven hours and six minutes per week, up from five hours in 2021.
“The 2022 Infinite Dial results show that digital audio in Australia is booming while radio continues to be the leading choice of audio both at home and in the car,” said CRA chief executive officer Ford Ennals. “Since the pre-pandemic days of 2018, the percentage of Australians listening to audio online every month has grown by nearly a half to 78%.
“Australia is one of the world’s leading podcast markets. These results show that podcasts continue to capture the imagination and ears of Australian listeners with a staggering level of individual weekly listening of over seven hours weekly. With increases in the key drivers of growth such as smart speaker ownership, connected cars, use of radio station apps and great podcast content, we can expect to see this level of digital audio growth to be sustained.”
Radio station smartphone apps overtook station websites as the top source used to listen to radio online, with half of those who listen online using an app, up from 44%. Forty-four percent listened via a station website, and 24% used a smart speaker.
Smart speaker usage
Twenty-eight percent of the Australian population, or 6.1 million people, own a smart speaker, with room to grow to reach the U.S., where penetration is at 35%. Google Nest is the leading brand in Australia with 23%, while 5% own an Amazon Alexa device and 2% own an Apple HomePod.
Edison Research president Larry Rosin said, “Thanks to the generosity of our sponsors, the Infinite Dial Australia 2022 delivers many actionable insights. After lagging the numbers from the USA in previous studies, monthly podcast listening is now higher in Australia, and weekly listening matches the American estimate. Meanwhile, the Australian radio industry continues to show far more robust resilience in the face of competition than what we see in other countries.”
The Infinite Dial Australia 2022 study explores the penetration of online digital audio in Australia. It is based on the Infinite Dial U.S. report, the longest-running survey of digital media consumer behavior in America. Edison Research conducted the research in the first quarter of 2022, using a nationally representative sample of 1,001 Australians. The full report is available on the CRA website here.